Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Greilenstein Castle

Silhouetted darkly
in the cold November fog
an avenue of old trees; crumbling
gargoyles in crippled harmony,
holding on like two lines of soldiers
back from a war; still standing
but not to attention.

Behind leaf-scrolled iron gates
in rusting baroque of fruit and wine
a theatrical production is underway
with dwarfs and lions
snakes and nymphs
and thick-lipped negroes
carved in suspicious stone
the dramatis personae; surreal
under obelisks, grim in the fog;
a frozen scene from some sylvan caper.

Magpies shriek from the treetops
and I shuffle through the fallen leaves
of dismal Greilenstein.

from 'Genteel Messages' pub: 2008

It is now more than 3 years since my first poetry collections, the pamphlet Mavericks and the book Genteel Messages were published. The book is out of print. I have therefore decided to share here a selection of 20 or so of my favourite poems from the book. The pamphlet is still available as a free download at Poem Hunter (see icon at right).
The castle's location: Waldviertel, Austria - 100kms north of Vienna


  1. I do like this Gwilym. The idea of all those 'players' in stone as though a play is taking place brought to mind a production of 'The Tempest' I once saw at Ludlow Castle. I had not thought before how the stone figures themselves can be seen as part of a production.

  2. a frozen scene from some sylvan caper.

    I think Dave King,at Pics and Poems, was on your same wavelength today...


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